SAN FRANCISCO—The Lunar New Year, which transpired on Friday, February 12 brought the opening of the Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground. San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced in a news release that the playground, which had been closed for more than two years, will be reopening.
The playground is located at 830 Sacramento Street in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown. The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department stated that it will be “a center for community engagement & recreation for all.”
Through the Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, the playground was able to use $14.5 million for renovations. The Downtown Park Fund added another $4.5 million, as well as additional funding from the City’s Open Space Fund.
The park is a half-acre large and features new bridges and pathways, and renovated basketball, badminton, volleyball, and pickleball courts. Changes were also made to the landscaping, irrigation, and stormwater infrastructure.
Community members gave input and feedback on renovation ideas, and the park includes many iconic elements of Chinese culture, said Sara Wan, executive director of the city’s Community Youth Center.
Murals and sculptures stretch throughout the park, incorporating traditional art of Chinese culture, such as a red knot symbolizing good fortune, and green bamboo representing resilience and integrity.
Local artist Julie Change painted a mural that covers the length of the clubhouse, titled “Maiden’s Dress.” The mural signifies abundance and honor.
Mayor Breed stated in a press release that “investing in neighborhood spaces and projects like this are critical for San Francisco’s wellbeing.” She believes the new park brings a “creative and accessible” place for everyone in the community.
The playground is accessible from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.